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"rpm" is on another rant, but... (archive)

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Posted by JamesM on November 27, 2000 at 13:01:18:

In Reply to: Re: too quick to spend money...(read!) posted by Quentin on November 28, 2000 at 00:39:43:

I agree with your comments about learning to drive. I learned to drive on the track with an 86 325e and it helped!

Good that you've "upgraded" yourself.

HOWEVER, I do not agree about the comments of the brakes. Frankly, I don't believe the stock brakes, even with racing pads, are good enough. Brakes are something that you want the most you can have (until the ability to modulate and balance them becomes an issue).

Well, that's a matter of opinion. If you have the right pads (Hawk Blue IMHO), the right fluid (AP Lockheed has some of the best), steel/Kevlar lines, and good brake cooling, then the stock brakes work just fine for J-Stock racers and the speeds that they reach. For weekend warriors, the stock brakes are just fine, unless you have 400lbs of stereo in the back. And NOBODY makes brake upgrades for the rear. You have to do your own E36 M3 rear setup or something similar. If you do the Movit kit up front, you have nearly 90% of your braking solely from the front wheels. This is not balance. Buy the Brake Handbook by Fred Puhn. Do some calculations. Then read some engineering books (Carroll Smith's books are a must!) and build your own brake system that's cheaper and more effective.

Brake "modulation" is subjective and different for each driver. "Big Reds" are designed for track use with racing slicks. Do you think you have that much grip on DOT-R tires? A lot of outbraking occurs simply because the other guy has bigger balls and stronger legs. Ask Barry or James from bimmerworld. They've done countless schools and both have SCCA race experience

Having been on the track with and driven Porsche's, the M3 brakes just dont compare, and in my mind they should be comparable for a car of this type.

Yes, Porsche uses some big damn brakes. But why not try brake ducts or different pads before putting $2500 into your front brakes. Then you need 17" wheels which actually hinder your braking performance (due to increased rotating mass). And your rear brakes are still stock. A brake proportioning valve is not a racing part--it's a Band-aid. Don't ask me why there's one in the E30. You'd need dual master cylinders and a real balance bar. Try lighter track tires, like Hoosiers on 16" wheels. You never know--what if you hate the Porsche brakes? What if they lock up too easily? What if your car stands on the front tires under full braking? I put M5 brakes on my 535i, now the rear tires nearly come off the ground! Looks like E34 rear brakes are in order...

...the 10.5 lb flywheel won't help on the street, it sure does make a difference when one is going down a straight.

Actually, I've noticed a considerable difference with the Evo flywheel just on the street. It helps considerably in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

Lap times don't lie. If you do an upgrade, check your lap times before and after. Is it worth the $2500 plus 17" wheels and tires, or can you do something else to the brakes to make them more effective? I say, spend your money on safety equipment and driver schools solely at first. Then determine where/how you think you are outdriving your car. Then get someone else to drive your car. If that person is faster, then you need to do something different. Change your braking style, line, steering input, learn to use both feet, etc. My brother constantly complains his car grinds when shifting. I've shifted that thing hard under all conditions, and I don't have a single problem.

Yes, "rpm" is off on another rant, but he is mostly correct when he says that most are too quick to spend.

Just my $0.02
88 M5
88 M3
83 535i

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